Everyday Intimacy: Valentine’s Day and Beyond

Valentine’s day is a day for attention, affection, and appreciation.  But after the cupids, the candy, the roses, and the romance have come and gone, then what?  Do you just go back to sitting in stony silence?  Do you return to feeling like you’re on the bottom of your mate’s list of priorities?  Do you become ships that pass in the night?

No!  Let this Valentine’s day spark a new year of relationship resolutions that are easy to keep no matter how busy your schedule.  Weave these simple shortcuts to intimacy throughout February 14th and every day so that you keep your relationship healthy and happy.

Morning Light — It matters how you greet your sweetheart in the morning.  If you wake up together, or even if you wake up separately, you want to communicate “You are my beloved, I adore you.”  You can say “I love you” no matter what your morning schedule – a whisper in the ear, by phone, by text or email or even with a post-it on the bathroom mirror.  Make sure that one of their first interactions in the morning is saturated with the feeling that your sweetie matters to you and you matter to them.

Text Treat – Use modern technology to your advantage.  When you’re having lunch, send your dear one a text, just to let them know that you’re thinking of them and that your relationship matters to you.

Home Sweet Home – As you approach your home after a day’s work, think of one thing that you particularly love about the home you created with your honey.  Say it out loud.  Be specific, recognizing that a house is just a house but a home is the sum total of the love that exists within it.

Puppy Love – When you reunite after any separation (as brief as an errand to the grocery or as long as a 2-day business trip), greet each other with a stomach-to-stomach hug lasting for 10 or more seconds.  Think of it this way, you don’t want to be greeting your pet with more enthusiasm than you greet your mate.  Stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and hold on tight.  Holding a hug for 20 seconds or longer will stimulate oxytocin, the bonding hormone.

Life and Breath – When you say goodnight, lay your finger under the nose of your beloved so you can feel their breath.  Say the words, “I’m so glad that you’re alive.”  Even if you go to bed at different times, do this before you sleep.  Remember that life is brief, fragile, and unpredictably short.  Savor each day together and give thanks for your time while it lasts.

With these connection building skills in place as new daily habits, you’ll find that your relationship is stronger than ever before.  In fact, using these daily strategies will make it feel like Valentine’s Day every day.

Originally Published in US Daily Review – February 14, 2012

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